Amateur League preview: Wellington Rec

With the new Amateur League season set to get under way this weekend, takes a look at each of our local teams ahead of Saturday’s big kick-off. Today we focus on Division 1A side Wellington Rec.

Ciaran Kelly has come in as joint-manager with Kenny Thompson, and Sammy Workman - Larne manager for a day - the new coach. Wellington have been recruiting heavily over the summer, and seem to have a good central spine with the acquisition of Aaron Kerr, Aaron Black, Scott Cowie, Michael McQuoid and Daryll Kernohan.

Significantly, they have also held on to the young players who impressed in the second half of last season, with the only departure being Scott Todd, who joins his brother Craig and other ex-Millbrook men Paul Maguire and Niall McAllister at Larne. Kieran Kane is also back after a season and a half out of the game and looking as though he has never been away.

Two of the new recruits, David McCormick and Adam Heggarty will be out for a least the first few months through injury.

Their pre-season form has been promising, and while they lost the annual Dennis Harvey Cup match to the Tech, they enjoyed friendly victories over Larne and Ballyclare Comrades.

Opening fixtures: Sat – Grove United (a); Tue – Abbey Villa (h).

Players in: Aaron Black, D/M, Ballymena United; Aaron Kerr, G, Ballymena United; Daryll Kernohan, S, Shankill United; Scott Cowie, D, Islandmagee; Michael McQuoid, M, Shankill United; David McCormick, M, Newington Rangers; Adam Heggarty, D; Matthew Hyslop, D, Newington Rangers; Christopher McConnell, D/M, Newington Rangers; Kieran Kane, M; Martyn Stirling, S, Newington Rangers.

Player out: Scott Todd, D/M, Larne.

Key player: Aaron Kerr.

Last season: 6th in 1A, 38 points (26 games)

Prospects: Promotion from 1A this year will be as tough as ever, with Crumlin Star and Derriaghy CC amongst the early favourites. But, if Wellington can get off to a good start and get the momentum going, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be very much in the mix – especially if they their two Aarons remain injury-free, and Kernohan finds form in front of goal.